The collaboration market continues its rapid expansion into the cloud.
Vendors RingCentral and Pexip are introducing new unified communications (UC) offerings that leverage the cloud to make it easier for businesses to enable their employees to connect from anywhere and to scale their environments as needed.
RingCentral officials on Feb. 2 rolled out RingCentral Global Office, a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offer that is aimed at multinational enterprises that want to connect with workers, customers and partners in multiple countries. It's based on a model that the country began in the United States and that company officials are now bringing to the global market, and built on RingCentral's new Global Connect Network, a redundant architecture for delivering services. It's designed to offer businesses a scalable and secure solution, they said.
Businesses for years have struggled with finding a simple way of deploying their communications infrastructures on a global basis, particularly as workforces have become increasingly mobile, according to Praful Shah, senior vice president of strategy for RingCentral.
"The realities of a distributed workforce makes this need more prevalent now than ever before, and we hear our customers increasingly demanding a flexible unified communications solution that fosters a collaborative working environment and scales globally," Shah said in a post on the company blog. "Historically, this task has been highly complex and expensive with multiple, legacy on-premise PBX systems."
RingCentral's Global Office product includes such capabilities as local phone numbers and local caller ID, global extension-to-extension dialing, carrier-grade quality of service and number porting. It also includes minute bundles for international calling. All of these can make companies with offices in multiple countries appear local to regional customers, officials said. Adding a global user to the RingCentral Office account is based on per-user pricing, depending on location.
"RingCentral Global Office reduces the complexity and high costs of maintaining multiple, legacy on-premise PBX systems with a single cloud solution," Shah said.
For its part, Pexip officials on Feb. 2 unveiled the Dynamic Hybrid Cloud, a new addition to the company's Infinity collaboration software platform. The new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud enables customers that deploy Pexip Infinity on premises to burst over to the cloud when capacity with the on-premises environment is about to be exceeded.
The new offering lessens the worry that business officials may have about the scalability of their communications infrastructures at a time when planning capacity is becoming increasingly difficult due to the growing demand from employees for collaboration tools and the trend toward virtualized infrastructures, company officials said.
"It allows our customers to take advantage of whichever deployment model suits them at any given time," Pexip CTO Hakon Dahle said in a statement. "The on-premises deployment provides basic capacity for everyday usage, and the cloud-based extension provides extra capacity for special needs. It is also very cost-efficient, in that unused cloud instances can be stopped when they are no longer needed."
Currently, Pexip customers can combine the Infinity on-premises product with Dynamic Hybrid Cloud functionality via Amazon Web Services. Support for other IaaS providers will come later this year.
Pexip will demonstrate Infinity working with the Dynamic Hybrid Cloud during the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) show in Amsterdam Feb. 9 to 12.
Analysts with BCC Research said in a report last month that the ongoing shift to the cloud will help fuel growth in the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) space, which should grow from $26.5 billion last year to $62 billion in 2020. The market for UCaaS will reach almost $18 million by 2020, a jump from $6.5 billion in 2015.
"The cost efficiencies and operational flexibility of these shared services are proving a potent model for market players," BCC analyst Nandita Bhotika said in a statement. "Although challenges in its adoption are still a concern, UCaaS is expected to give the UC&C market its needed boost."